Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic is out with a knee injury.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has told The Scottish Sun that he believes defender Jozo Simunovic will bounce back from his error against Copenhagen – but is unlikely to play on Wednesday.
The Bhoys will be back in action again on Wednesday night as they take on Livingston, and will be looking to continue their fightback from their Europa League exit.
A 3-1 home defeat to Copenhagen on Thursday night saw Celtic crash out of the Europa League, and defender Simunovic has been slammed for his role in the defeat.
At 1-1 on aggregate, Simunovic failed to deal with a long ball, allowing Michael Santos to score for the visitors, before Odsonne Edouard equalised.
Still, Copenhagen had confidence they could get at the Celtic defence, and score twice late on with Pep Biel and Dame N’Doye wrapping up a 3-1 win on the night and 4-2 aggregate victory.
Simunovic missed Sunday’s 1-0 win over St Johnstone, and Nir Bitton stepped into defence admirably, leaving Simunovic’s position under real threat.
Now, Lennon has admitted that he thinks Simunovic will bounce back, absolving him of blame by pointing out that Celtic did pull level even after Simunovic’s error.
Lennon did though add that Simunovic’s knee isn’t responding as well as Celtic would like, meaning he is now unlikely to play against Livingston – meaning Bitton has another chance to show he should take Simunovic’s spot long-term.
“Will Jozo bounce back? Absolutely,” said Lennon. “We got it back to 1-1, so that didn’t cost us the game. It was the game- management in the two minutes after we scored that cost us. We were all culpable for that.”
“I didn’t need to have a chat with him. We spoke this morning about life in general and he’s in a good place. His knee is not responding quite as we’d like, so he’s a major doubt for Wednesday,” he added.